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Irene’s World wins EWA Award at WEMW 2020

Irene's World by Mery Aghakhanyan wins the 4th EWA Best female director Development Award in Trieste

For the 4th year in a row, EWA NETWORK has the privilege to award the best  female -directed project  at When East Meets West co-production forum.

The jury agreed to present the EWA Network award to Armenian director, Mery Aghakhanyan. Irene's World tells the story of a teenager who enters adulthood through the ancient rituals of a closed rural community where the majority of residents are each other’s lovers. The vision of the director would allow to convey the magic of the folklore combined with the harsh reality of underage forced marriages.

Congratulations to Mery Aghakhanyan for her project Irene's World.


The feature-length fiction debut by Armenian director Mery Aghakhanyan is set in a small village where 15-year-old Irene discovers that her belly is growing larger, and she’s unaware of the cause. When the villagers decide to marry her off against her will, Irene disappears without a trace; soon after, though, women and men suddenly start getting pregnant.

Irene's World is produced by Hoshkee Film, an independent film production company established by actress/writer/producer Armine Anda. In the Armenian language Hoshkee means an oak-tree. It speaks of hope to be rooted deep into the earth and to sprout with leaves that go up into the sky.

Mery Aghakhanyan

Mery Aghakhanyan was born in Armenia, 1978. She graduated Musical College in 1997, then Humanitarian University from 1996 to 1999, where she studied philosophy and metaphysics. In 2003 she graduated Yerevan State Conservatory as a musicologist, with her diploma work about meditation ways of music in Middle East countries. She worked some years in “Byurakn” education center, as a teacher of art and did there her performances with children. She is an author of tales, and theatrical performances, documentary and artistic scenarios, among which are the “Autobiography”. “Behind the Dunes”, “Irene’s World”, “The Babylon Tower”, and the documentaries “Where do the bubbles go?” “Our Bangladesh” and others.

In 2014 she graduated High Cinema Curses of Roman Balayan (Ukrainian-Armenian director) and became a film director. In 2015 she finished her short future film “Above the Heavens” (now in post-production process).
She has started shooting in documentary photography since 2009. She received Open Social Institute documentary photography grant, for her project “The social and economic situation of life in several villages of Armenia”. This work was selected in 2010 for Asian women photographer’s showcase in 6th Angkor Photo Festival. She is working on her long-term photography projects: “War or Peace” “The births of Nations”. “The Lost Eden” is one of these projects connecting with genocide.